The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Three Holy Places of Tibet
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The following is from Matthieu Ricard (MR) in his The Life of Shabkar. The terms you may have been searching for will appear bolded in this wonderfully educational, and highly abbreviated geographic description of how the land of Tibet actually lives through it's cultural habitat, both historically and spiritually:
from chapter 11, pgs. 342-343, note 10:
The White Snow Mountain, Kangkar Tise (gangs dkar ti se), Mt. Kailash (literally 'Silver Mountain'), is one of the world's great holy mountains, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. It is one of the so-called "Three Holy Places of Tibet", associated with the body, speech, and mind aspects of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi. The other two are Lapchi (la phyi) and Tsari (tsa ri). These three are also listed among the "Twenty-four Great Sacred Places" (Tib. - gnas chen nyer gzhi), (Skt. - pitha) of the world, Mt. Kailash being identified as Himavat, Lapchi as Godhavari, and Tsari as both Caritra and Devikota. There are several descriptions of and guides to Mt. Kailash, including one written by Konchog Tendzin Chokyi Lodro, the sixth Drigung Chungtsang ('bri gung chung tshang dkon mchog bstan 'dzin chos kyi blo gros, 1829-1906), and a recent one composed by Choying Dorje (1990), hereafter quoted as MK.
It is recounted in the Chakrasamvara Tantra and it's commentaries (as related in MK) that the world was once ruled by Bhairava, the wrathful form of Mahadeva, who made the land of Magadha the seat of his power. It is said also that four devas and four gandharvas descended from the sky and established their dominion in the eight places known as the Eight Celestial Abodes (mkha' spyod kyi gnas brgyad). Likewise, four yakshas and four rakshasas, already on the earth, made their way to Jambudvipa, where they established themselves in the Eight Earthly Abodes (sa spyod kyi gnas brgyad, while four [[naga]s and four asuras came to Jambudvipa from beneath the earth, to settle themselves in Eight Underground Abodes (sa 'og gi gnas brgyad). They invited Bhairava to visit their dwellings, twenty-four in all, but he, instead of coming personally, manifested in each place as a lingam to which these savage beings would make blood sacrifices.
These demonic forces prevailed from the "golden age" until the beginning of our present "era of strife and conflict." It was then, the tantra recounts, that the Blessed One, Vajradhara, knew that the time had come to subdue these unsuitable beings. Without his mind ever wavering from objectless compassion (dmigs pa med pa'i snying rje), he arose in the formidable wrathful display of a Heruka with four heads and twelve arms. He danced, and through the power of the nondual wisdom of all the Buddhas, trampled down Mahadeva and his consort together with their retinue, liberating their minds into the absolute expanse and establishing them in great bliss.
The Heruka then blessed each of the twenty-four abodes as a palace of Chakrasamvara and each of the twenty-four lingams as a mandala of sixty-two wisdom deities. The sixty-two are Chakrasamvara and his consort, and his retinue: the twenty-four male and twenty-four female Bodhisattvas, and the twelve goddesses.
At the nirmanakaya level, it is said that Mt. Kailash was miraculously blessed by Buddha Shakyamuni and five hundred arhats. Once, Ravana (mgon po beng) and his consort had taken to their palace in Lanka one of the three statues of Buddha Shakyamuni which the Lord himself had blessed. Desiring to place this statue on a worthy support, Ravana had planned to take Mt. Kailash on his back and carry it to Lanka. At the same moment Lord Buddha and five hundred arhats came flying through the sky and alighted to the west of Mt. Kailash, leaving their footprints in the rock. The Buddha stepped on all four sides of the mountain, leaving footprints in the rock which are known as the Four Immutable Nails of Kailash (mi 'gyur ba'i gzer bzhi). Ravana thus was unable to lift the mountain. Then the Buddha sat on a rock in front of the mountain and taught Dharma to the naga king Anavatapta, the lord of the Lake Manasarovar. He then taught the Lankavatara Sutra to Ravana, and blessed him and his consort as the Glorious Wisdom Protector, the Great Being and Consort (dpal ye shes mgon po beng chen lcam dral).
Mt. Kailash was later blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, and became famous after [[Jetsun Milarepa]] lived there and held his contest of miracles with Naro Bonchung. (When Jetsun Milarepa and the Bonpo Naro Bonchung held their famous contest of miracles to decide who would retain supremacy over the sacred mountain, they left imprints of their feet in the rocks and many other miraculous signs. See G. C. C. Chang, (1962, vol. 1, pp. 215-224). Later Gyalwa Gotsangpa (rgod tshang pa mgon po rdo rje), Linge Repa (gling rje ras pa) (1128-1188), and many other great meditators lived ascetic lives at the foot of Mt. Kailash.
In particular, holders of the Drigung Kagyu lineage frequented this place in great numbers. Drigung Jigten Gonpo ('bri gung 'jigs rten mgon po 1143-1217) had a dream in which the guardian deities of the Three Sacred Places of Tsari, Lapchi, and Kailash came and prostrated themselves before him, requesting him to go and bless their territories. Jigten Gonpo replied that he would send great meditators instead. Accordingly, he dispatched 80 hermits to each place. Some years later, he reputedly sent 900 hermits and finally 55,525 practitioners to each site (see Huber, 1989). At Kailash these were under the leadership of the great pandita Yakgangpa (pan chen yag sgang pa), who is also called (according to MK, pg. 59), Dorzin Guhya Gangpa (rdor 'dzin guh ya sgang pa); at Lapchi the practitioners were led by Geshe Paldrak (dge bshes dpal grags, 12th-13th century); and at Tsari they were under the guidance of Dorzin Gowoche (rdor 'dzin mgo bo che). In the Three Sacred Places of Tsari, Lapchi, and Kailash, Dorzin (rdor 'dzin = Holder of the Vajra) usually refers to a spiritual master or an administrator sent from Drigung Monastery as representative of the Drigung hierarchs. (see Petech 1978, 317.) (MR-ShabkarNotes).